LL Cool J

G.O.A.T: The Greatest of All Time

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With his first release in the mid-'80s, LL Cool J hit the rap scene with a unique sense for freestyle lyrics. He kept it up over the years with hits like "I'm That Type of Guy," "Going Back to Cali," and "Mama Said Knock You Out." As artists age, there seems to be a natural progression in the production and lyrics that take place. With acts like Tribe Called Quest we watched as Q-Tip went from rapping about young ladies with long legs and long hair to wanting a woman with a more spiritual flair -- to quote the man loosely. Despite marriage and children, this hasn't happened with L.L., in fact it's the same lyrics, just with a different album cover. In addition, the raps of urban ills from a man who boasts publicly about his diamonds, riches, and furs (he often sports his fur coats in public during New York summer heat waves) are hard to believe. Once again, with the September 12, 2000 release of G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time), L.L. Cool J disappoints. The first single off the album, "Imagine That," puts L.L. in a school setting where he's the teacher and he needs to teach his "naughty" student a couple bad things. The theme of L.L. as the older seducer who is better than the current man of a girlish temptress has been common through L.L.'s albums ("Doin It Well," "Around the Way Girl"). It's like listening to the confessions of a horny 14-year-old teenage boy in the girl's locker room. Even with the help of popular rap acts like DMX and Redman, L.L. Cool J has made the same album he did once before, with no new twists.

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